Summary: A comparison and contrast of the Academy Awards to the Resurrection and the final judgment.
Scripture Ref: Matthew 24:36-44
Revelation 21:1-2, 11-25
a. Last week, millions of Americans were glued to their TV sets watching the Oscars, staring in awe at all the special people, wistful in thinking “Why couldn’t that be me?”
b. The stars (the special people, not the heavens) were radiant in their designer clothes. The set glittered with lavish design. The auditorium swelled to the sound of orchestral music.
c. All of this was done to honor one another, to admire their skills and their creations, their cinematic talent in varying fields.
d. Yet, not once did I hear one of them in their acceptance speeches give credit to the one who endowed them with those special talents.
e. So, today we are going to have an awards show of our own, celebrating the greatness of God.
f. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first and only Celestial Awards show.
2. The Start of the Show
a. The invitations have been issued—you must attend. The party afterwards is optional, it’s your choice. Only, you have to make that choice now, you can’t wait until the day of the party.
b. The ceremony has been planned since before the beginning time.
c. But now, we skip to somewhere in the future. The exact date is unknown, because only God knows when that will be. We must, however, be ready to attend at a moment’s notice.
Read Matthew 24:36-44 1
d. Suddenly the trumpets of the heavenly orchestra play a resounding chord. The heavens ring with the sound of an angelic choir singing “holy, holy, holy is the Lamb of God” and our host appears in the eastern sky descending on a cloud.
e. Compliments of the miraculous GBS (God Broadcasting System), the event is seen throughout the world. Every eye witnesses this glorious event.
f. Rather than applause, every knee bows and every tongue confesses that He is Lord.
g. The voice of the archangel is heard saying “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first and only Celestial Awards.”
3. Best Special Effects
a. As our host announces “The nominees for best special effects are God and man,” as we see behind Him God speaking the universe into existence.
b. Read Gen. 1:1-10 2
c. We see a broad expanse of black and nothingness. The blackness begins to shimmer as a planet with no features or occupants, covered in water in miraculously appears.
d. Out of this nothingness a majestic voice booms, “Let there be light,” and suddenly the sky is alive with light.
e. Slowly the earth begins to rotate, and then to orbit about the source of this great light. And, as it does so, the light becomes separated from the darkness.
f. The majestic voice again speaks and says “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water” and clouds and atmosphere gather over the face of this new creation and God called it “sky.”
g. The majestic voice speaks again and says “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear” and immediately large expanses of land emerge from the roiling waters—mountains stretching and reaching up to the newly formed sky, islands appear in the middle of immense oceans, and deserts far from the kiss of water lay basking in the sun.
h. No examples for man’s special effects are shown because they pale in comparison.
i. As the magical view of creation fades, our announcer then says “and the Celestial award for best special effects goes to…God.” The angelic chorus responds with a round a hallelujahs.
4. Best Set Design
a. Our host informs us that the next Celestial award is for best set design and again the nominees are God and man.
b. Read Revelation 21:1-2, 11-25 3
c. Again we are treated to a scene of immense beauty. A city approximately 1500 miles long, by 1500 miles wide, by 1500 miles high descends from the heavens.
(1) The city is surrounded by a wall of jasper, and the city itself is made of pure gold.
(2) The foundation of the city is made of every kind of precious stone— jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst.
(3) The 12 gates are made from pearl, each gate from a single pearl.
(4) The main street is made of pure gold.
(5) The river of life, clear as crystal, flows from the throne God down through the center of the main street.
d. As the scene fades, we are shown fleeting glimpses of a few of man’s best creations — the Taj Mahal, Disneyland, the Wynn Towers in Las Vegas, the mountainside homes of Santorini Greece, and they pale in comparison, leaving us wanting more.